Cowboy Caviar

Y’all know I’m from Oklahoma, right? I grew up eating cowboy caviar, also called Texas caviar. It’s a classic bean salad recipe popular in the South. You…

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cowboy caviar recipe

Y’all know I’m from Oklahoma, right? I grew up eating cowboy caviar, also called Texas caviar. It’s a classic bean salad recipe popular in the South. You can serve it as a side salad or as salsa. Either way, people go crazy for cowboy caviar at potlucks.

Cowboy caviar is made with black-eyed peas and black beans, chopped tomatoes, corn, bell pepper, onion and cilantro tossed in tangy Italian dressing. I typically think of cowboy caviar as a warm weather salad, but it’s made with ingredients that are readily available year-round.

Cowboy caviar is actually perfect for New Year’s if you’re craving something fresh yet hearty, and trying to hit your black-eyed pea quota!

cowboy caviar ingredients

I have one issue with most cowboy caviar recipes—they’re often swimming in store-bought Italian salad dressing. As such, they can be way too oily and contain some unnecessary preservatives. Instead, I whisked together a simple, homemade Italian dressing from scratch. It’s easy to do and tastes fantastic.

This recipe yields a big bowl of dip, but I don’t think you’ll have any trouble polishing it off. I hope you enjoy this cheekily titled delight!

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Italian Dressing

Italian dressing has been one of my favorites for as long as I can remember. My mom always served a simple green salad with dinner, and I…

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Italian dressing

Italian dressing has been one of my favorites for as long as I can remember. My mom always served a simple green salad with dinner, and I gravitated toward Wish-Bone’s Italian dressing for drizzling on top. I was especially glad to reach for the extra zesty variety when we had it. Eating at Olive Garden was a rare treat and I took full advantage of the unlimited salad.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—homemade salad dressings taste so much better than store-bought. This classic Italian vinaigrette is bold, zesty and irresistible! My collection of salad dressing recipes was incomplete without it.

Italian dressing ingredients

This dressing is easy to make with basic pantry ingredients. You’ll need olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, garlic, and dried oregano. You’ll also reach for salt, pepper and red pepper flakes (only if you like some heat).

The beauty of making your own Italian dressing is that you know exactly what’s going into it—like real olive oil and no preservatives.

You can also adjust the flavors to suit your preferences. Whether you like extra zesty or more mellow dressing, you’ll find guidance in the simple recipe below. It’s ready in under five minutes and keeps for a week!

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Easy Blue Cheese Dip

This blue cheese dip just might convert blue cheese skeptics into fans. Yes, it really might. You can trust me on this because I’m a little iffy…

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easy blue cheese dip

This blue cheese dip just might convert blue cheese skeptics into fans. Yes, it really might. You can trust me on this because I’m a little iffy on blue cheese myself. Sometimes I love blue cheese, like in this peach and avocado salad, and sometimes it’s too much.

In this dip, it’s perfect. This blue cheese dip recipe is cold, creamy, and savory with an unmistakeable—but not overpowering—blue cheese funk. It’s easy to stir together and tastes even better after a brief rest.

how to make blue cheese dip

In addition to blue cheese (try a mild one, like gorgonzola), you’ll need just a few basic ingredients to make this dip: sour cream or Greek yogurt, chives or green onion, fresh garlic, salt and pepper. Rarely do I suggest Greek yogurt as a worthy alternative to sour cream, but it really works here and yields a lighter dip. For a different flavor profile altogether, try feta cheese instead of blue.

Serve your dip with Buffalo Cauliflower, or simply with raw vegetables like celery, carrot and bell pepper. Please let me know how you like it in the comments!

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Favorite Chickpea Salad

Have you met my all-time favorite chickpea salad recipe? Sure, I have many beloved chickpea salads on the blog already, but this is my tried-and-true favorite from…

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best chickpea salad recipe

Have you met my all-time favorite chickpea salad recipe? Sure, I have many beloved chickpea salads on the blog already, but this is my tried-and-true favorite from my cookbook, Love Real Food. In the book, I called it the “Outrageous Herbaceous Chickpea Salad,” which is exactly right!

“Here’s a simple chickpea salad that I could eat every single day. It’s bursting with fresh Mediterranean flavors, thanks to chopped bell pepper, parsley, red onion, and celery. Lemon and garlic take it from tasty to transcendent. This salad packs well, so it’s perfect for potlucks and picnics. It’s also a great lunch option, so long as your serving is large enough…”

chickpea salad ingredients

I love this recipe as much today as I did when I created the recipe several years ago. In fact, I stand behind all of the cookbook recipes, and it makes me so happy to hear that you’re cooking from the book!

I’m truly a healthier eater when I have this salad in the fridge. It’s the perfect hearty side salad or mid-afternoon snack. Pile it onto a bed of greens, or cooked whole grains like farro or quinoa, or even onto your scrambled eggs or cheese nachos. You can’t go wrong with this one.

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How to Grill Pizza

Grilled pizza is so fun to make! I love grilling pizzas on hot days because I don’t have to crank up the oven to high heat. Grilled…

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grilled pizza recipe

Grilled pizza is so fun to make! I love grilling pizzas on hot days because I don’t have to crank up the oven to high heat. Grilled pizza makes dinnertime feel like an event, and it’s simple enough to manage on a weeknight.

Grilled pizza is especially doable when you start with my Easy Whole Wheat Pizza Dough, which comes together in a flash—no rising time required—and grills beautifully.

pizza dough for grilling

Today, I’m sharing a full tutorial on how to grill pizza. As you’ll see, grilled pizzas differ a bit in technique from oven-baked pizzas.

Choose your toppings wisely (you’ll find suggestions below) and follow my recipe until you get the hang of it. Then, you’ll be a grilled pizza champion!

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Cucumber Tomato Salad with Greek Dressing

When it’s blazing hot outside, this cucumber tomato salad is exactly what I want to eat. This recipe is crisp and refreshing, light yet satisfying. This salad…

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cucumber tomato salad recipe

When it’s blazing hot outside, this cucumber tomato salad is exactly what I want to eat. This recipe is crisp and refreshing, light yet satisfying.

This salad features fresh cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, not-too-much red onion, fresh herbs and optional feta cheese. Once tossed in Greek dressing, this basic combination is further proof that summertime produce doesn’t need much help to taste spectacular.

cucumber tomato salad ingredients

Bring this tomato cucumber salad recipe to your next get-together, or serve it at home as a side salad. It keeps well for several days in the refrigerator.

I love leftovers with sandwiches—this salad would be perfect with my Caprese Sandwich, Vegetarian “BLT” Sandwich or Green Goddess Hummus Sandwich. Hope you’ll make it soon!

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Baked Feta Dip with Cherry Tomatoes

Have you tried the baked feta pasta that took the internet by storm earlier this year? That simple recipe inspired this delicious summer dip, which features some…

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baked feta dip recipe

Have you tried the baked feta pasta that took the internet by storm earlier this year? That simple recipe inspired this delicious summer dip, which features some of my very favorite flavors—creamy feta, tangy cherry tomatoes, olives and plenty of fresh basil.

Baking these ingredients together near the heat source yields maximal flavor. The feta softens and turns golden, the cherry tomatoes burst and naturally sweeten, and the olives become even more intensely olive-y. Swirled together and finished with a generous sprinkle of basil, the combination is sublime.

baked feta dip ingredients

This dish also bears a resemblance to a classic Greek dish called feta fournou, or baked feta. That dish typically features feta with bell pepper, tomato and oregano.

The flavors in today’s dip are also delicious raw, as you’ve seen in my Mediterranean Tomato & Feta Dip—make that one if you don’t want to turn on the oven! Either one will be a perfect light meal or summer evening appetizer.

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Margherita Pizza

Pizza always makes a bad day feel better, and there’s nothing nicer than a perfect slice of margherita pizza. Now you can make this recipe at home…

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margherita pizza recipe

Pizza always makes a bad day feel better, and there’s nothing nicer than a perfect slice of margherita pizza. Now you can make this recipe at home any time the craving strikes!

Pizza margherita, as the Italians call it, is a simple pizza hailing from Naples. When done right, margherita pizza features a bubbly crust, crushed San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt. That is all.

margherita pizza ingredients

Sure, you could add some tomato if you’d like, but only if the tomato is truly ripe, red and worthy. Authentic Neapolitan pizza margherita doesn’t require fresh tomato. Try making this pizza as written, and you won’t miss the tomato on top. Sometimes less is more.

This pizza is simple, fresh and a guaranteed crowd pleaser. It’s a delight to make and even better to eat. How about pizza tonight?

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Simple Blueberry Cake

This blueberry cake is my official summertime dessert. I hope it becomes yours, too. It’s tender, fully loaded with blueberries, and simple to make—no mixer required. It’s…

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blueberry cake recipe

This blueberry cake is my official summertime dessert. I hope it becomes yours, too. It’s tender, fully loaded with blueberries, and simple to make—no mixer required. It’s a dream!

This blueberry cake recipe is naturally sweetened with maple syrup, which makes it extra delicious. Thanks to the blueberries and maple syrup, it’s nicely sweet but not over the top. Some cakes are so sweet that they give me a stomachache, but this one is just right.

blueberry cake ingredients

This cake will absolutely be a hit at your Fourth of July festivities. Serve it as a “snacking cake” or make it celebration-worthy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. I’ve even enjoyed a slice with yogurt for breakfast.

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Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad)

Are you familiar with esquites? Also known as elote en vaso, esquites are an experience you’ll remember. Esquites are Mexican street corn (elote) cut off the cob,…

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esquites recipe

Are you familiar with esquites? Also known as elote en vaso, esquites are an experience you’ll remember. Esquites are Mexican street corn (elote) cut off the cob, served in salad form.

Esquites are creamy, tangy, spicy, sweet and savory all at once. In other words, they’re completely irresistible. This elote recipe was the best recipe to come off our grill last summer, and I’m excited to share this stovetop variation with you.

how to make esquites

Esquites share the same ingredients with elote: fresh corn, mayonnaise, cilantro, chili powder, lime and crumbled Cotija cheese. The combination is sublime, and this variation is much easier to eat. I’ve enjoyed both options in Mexico City and love making them at home. I’m going to cook this simple salad all summer and through the rest of the year.

Esquites have one strong cooking advantage over elote—you can start with frozen corn kernels, which really cuts down on preparation time! We’ll just cook the frozen corn in a hot skillet until it’s seared and delicious. If you’re using frozen corn, you can prepare this dish in about twenty minutes, from start to finish.

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